Tim Scott, the Republican Congressman from South Carolina who today will be appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Nikki Haley to replace Jim DeMint, is the “Chick-Fil-A Teavangelical.” So writes Christian Broadcasting Network’s White House Correspondent David Brody, in The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America.
Noting Governor Haley’s choice “will make Mr. Scott the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century,” The New York Times suggests Scott’s background could make him a GOP/Tea Party rising star:
Mr. Scott offers a unique story and background, one that is in scant supply in the Republican party right now. Raised by a single mother, he was, by his account, a lost child who struggled with school and with life until a Chick-fil-A franchise owner took him on as a protégé and schooled him in conservative principles.
In 2010, David Brody profiled Scott for the Christian Broadcasting Network:
Scott’s life story does not start out very well. He grew up in poverty in Charleston and was raised by a single mom who worked 16 hours a day. In 9th grade, he failed four subjects and almost flunked out of high school.
But then he walked into a Chick-fil-A restaurant, and his life changed forever.
As a 14-year-old working part-time at the movie theater, Scott said he was always, “buying french fries over there at Chick-fil-A because I couldn’t afford the Chick-fil-A sandwich.”
While he was there, he met John Moniz, a born again Christian who took an interest in young Tim.
“John started teaching me the basic principles of conservatism and capitalism, which was amazing because he did it in a spiritual perspective. He led with love,” Scott told CBN News.
Those conversations led to better grades and a sense of purpose. The Christian witnessing continued with Scott’s friend Roger.
“No matter what day it was, he was always happy,” Scott recalled. “And I said ‘Roger why are you happy?’ And Roger was like ‘Jesus is Lord.’ And I’m like ‘I got it but what else?’”
Scott found the answer to that question at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting in college where he made the personal decision to give his life to Jesus Christ.
“I just dove into the scriptures and started memorizing different scriptures and started becoming as much as possible a part of the scripture. I wanted it to be grafted into my heart,” Scott explained.
Scriptures and Policy
Scott not only grafted scripture into his heart but into his public policy, too. At the Myrtle Beach Tea Party meeting, he wove Bible references in where appropriate.
“Ethics reform, according to the Book of James, is at a higher level for leaders and I think it should be,” he said.
Fifteen years ago as a city councilman, Scott tried to put a 10 Commandments plaque outside the council offices, but a circuit court judge stopped that plan.
“It was really giving God an opportunity to be seen and to be heard in the public forum based on the history of our country,” Scott said.
Apparently, Scott hasn’t lost his Chick-Fil-A roots. He tweeted his support of Mike Huckabee’s anti-gay “Eat At Chick-Fil-A Day” in August (image, top.)
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